How To: Make Distressed Wood Floors

Interested in creating distressed wood floors? Here’s how.

Nothing surpasses the beauty and charm of a vintage wood floor, and this style of wood floor is becoming increasingly popular among individuals who desire a lived-in feel in their homes and places of business. In theory, creating a distressed look for a new floor is simple, but it may be time- and labor-intensive, and it does take some artistic abilities. If a hand-finished floor is preferred to pre-distressed flooring, the procedure can be enjoyable and even cost-effective. To ensure that the floor lives up to its appearance, no shortcuts should be taken when it comes to installation.

Follow the steps below!

Step 1 Lightly Sand

Whether you’re distressing a new or old floor, you should start by lightly sanding everything. This smoothes out surface flaws, cleans up the wood and better prepares the surface for painting. This will help the paint bond better over time, especially on a high-traffic floor. Sand the entire surface with 100-grit sandpaper or an 80-grit screen. After you’ve completed sanding, fully vacuum up any dust to ensure you have a totally clean floor with no debris.

Step 2 Paint

There’s no priming here, just plain old paint. Some DIYers apply one thick layer of Sherwin Williams ProClassic Acrylic-Alkyd paint because they like how hard it dries to without being tacky. However, you will want to use good enamel paint for floors in particular. For a particularly hard finish, use an oil-based paint, but water-based enamels will also work well. You may use any sheen you like; however, flat or matte sheens do not handle traffic as well as satin, semi-gloss or high gloss sheens.

Step 3 Scuff Sand

After the paint had set for about 24 hours, grab a belt sander and some 80-grit sandpaper and go to town. To make the scuffing look natural, sand with the grain rather than against it or diagonally to it. It is entirely up to you how much you distress the paint. Many DIYers concentrate their efforts on high-traffic areas, where the floor would naturally be more worn from decades of foot traffic. The idea is to expose part of the wood beneath the paint. The amount of wood used is a matter of personal preference. After that, vacuum again to ensure that the floor is totally clean before proceeding to the following step.

Step 4 Stain

Now that you have a perfectly white scuffed-up floor, it’s time to add the age and vintage touch. Apply a stain in the desired color. Wipe the stain in well with a cotton rag and then immediately wipe it off. Work in small chunks (about 3′ × 3′) to prevent the stain from drying on you. If you’re staining a floor, this works best as a two-person job, with one applying the stain and the other washing it away right behind them. The crucial thing to remember here is that when removing the stain, you should always wipe in the grain of the wood. Wipe it clean as well. You don’t want any lap marks or other indications that this is a fake finish. It should appear entirely natural. The stain will convert the bright paint a wonderful vintage cream hue, and it will reveal the wood grain underlying in areas where you sanded through the paint.

Step 5 Seal

There are a few of ways to seal and protect your creation after the stain has dried for a day or so. Poly-acrylic, lacquer or paste wax will be the most effective. Because the method is so straightforward. Waxing a floor is similar to waxing a large flat car. Buff on the paste wax, wait till it hazes and then buff it off. A couple of cans of spray poly or lacquer will suffice for modest tasks. You should be good to go with 2-3 coats. If you don’t want to change the colors of the floors, do not oil-based polyurethane since it imparts a subtle amber hue to everything.

This technique is fantastic since it can be used on practically any wood surface, not just floors. Anything may be distressed to give it a shabby chic or vintage appeal. However, not everyone can do this type of project, especially since it can take some time and experience to do it. That’s why you should let the professional accomplish this on your wood floors. And who are these professionals? Valor Home Services! We can help you refinish your floors to create this distressing or install new distressed floors. For more information, contact our office today.